To be a successful business owner you have to ensure you are making informed decisions. To do this you have to have visibility into what is going on in your company at all times. Using a workflow system definitely helps to achieve this. But with the term “Workflow” on everyone’s lips, have you ever stopped to think what it actually means and how can help your business?
What is Workflow?
Workflow is simply the automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information and/or tasks are passed from one participant to another, according to a set of procedures, in order to accomplish a goal. For example, within a legal environment, that goal might be to close a Motor Vehicle Accident Matter. The problem arises when the onus is on the individual to remember the exact process that needs to be followed, to keep track of what stage the matter is at and manually move it along. How does a firm escape major disruption, and avoid missing deadlines during a time of flux? If the person working on the matter is taken ill, or decides they need a change in career, and a new employee is hired?
In an organisation, inefficiency in processes most often is not in the execution by the employee, but rather in the time between steps in the sequence or workflow. Those minutes and hours create lags in business processes. By placing a workflow process in a virtual environment, the time between processes can be significantly reduced from days to minutes. Also, the entire office is working to a unified work process that can be documented and learned. By increasing the productivity of its employees the organisation can focus on other areas, such as increasing profitability.
In a nutshell…the key benefits of using Workflow:
- Improved efficiency. Automation of many business processes results in the elimination of unnecessary steps.
- Better process control. Improved management of business processes achieved through standardising working methods and the availability of audit trails.
- Improved customer service. Consistency in the processes leads to greater predictability in levels of response to customers.
- Flexibility. Software control over processes enables their re-design in line with changing business needs.
- Business process improvement. Focus on business processes leads to their streamlining and simplification.
- Reduced Risk. Building workflows increases awareness of best business practice, streamlines work processes; saving time and money